AM I A SELF-CONDEMNING SOJOURNER?
My days are often filled with experiences that allow me to write- to use my time and talent to admonish, rebuke, correct, encourage, empathize and give thought not only to myself FIRST, but to the readers who come across the tip of my pen, through divine providence.
Let us travel on~ There are some warning signs on the highway! I’ve been on many trips and I am still learning many lessons. My best lessons were learnt on the trackless paths of deserts when I rode on the backs of camels and depended on an interpreter to help me through my trips!
Life is a trip! If you must add guilt to your luggage, let it be so heavy that it will weigh you down as to redirect you back to the Source that sets free; that He may show you new direction, clear paths, and imbue your heart with an abundance of peace.
Many are in today’s world, self-condemning sojourners. The human tendency to imagine that we know ourselves all too well is a tentacle that clasps around us like the air within our noses! However, we have a great insight from David’s prayer when he prays, “Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.” Psalm 19:12.
I get appalled often when in my journey with God I exude tendencies of mediocrity, yet to excellence I have been called and the doors left a jar! Lord have mercy!
We do not always understand our true selves, and only at the feet of JESUS do we fall and realize what a work there is to be done in our hearts – the secret sins that are hidden from our view. These must be dealt with before He can come and claim us as His own.
Friends, there’s a taint of pride in the human heart that discolors our perceptions. We need humility to erase this pride off so the latter can take its rightful position. Where shall we let pride rest hence?
Let Pride be laid low in the dust that the showers of humility may bring refreshing rain upon the conscience, leaving behind the dawn of wisdom with every dew of tact and empathy.
Yet, how many of us resort to the strongholds that break us? Pride and holding on to a grudge are twin sisters who share an umbilical cord even after birth! Disturbing, right? Take sister grudge for example. What does it do?
Grudges have strong grips….and holding onto one can rip the soul apart. Grudges lead one to not only harbor negative feelings and doubtful self-talk, but also grant the tools for creating and building an “independent” harbor- a no-go zone – a lonely yard where nothing but your own ship can land- yet, don’t we all need the navigational tips from one another as we travel through life’s depths and shores?
Indeed, moments come when emotions in relationships, with friends, co workers, family and even strangers run wild and the taming skills seem lost. We all have our coping strategies. The question to myself is; How divine are my chosen ones?
Some keep a distance……
Some may be tempted to use abusive words…
Some cook sour soups and serve others to drink…
Some hold tight the tongues and send them to the doctor for “silent treatment.”
Some shout and pout……
The list is endless.
All of us have been through “some“, and we know that only the DIVINE POWER CAN initiate in us Right Responses to difficult situations.
The question remains….how do I respond to someone in an interaction with me, who fails to – at that moment represent the Christ that ought to abide in the heart? Am I swept away to join in the behavior? Do I, with the help of God choose to not think about how “I” am being treated?” Not that I can read any motive, but that the fruit is showing a symptom? Will I sit quietly and let go? How do I approach a believer who is faulting, knowing that they may not even know it? How do I face my own faults, often unbeknown to me?
There’s no one size answer, but I have found some principles to guide me as a social being, who speaks with a lot of people daily through counseling and friendships.
Hence, I make some choices and below, I share some principles to guide me. This is my self talk…through the power of Grace alone.
1). I will not be satisfied to settle for mere amicability when maturity is within reach in my social relations. I will aim high and love others regardless.
2). My search for peace will not be equated with the absence of differing opinions. Let me thrive in learning something from you.
3). My search for peace will not be a cheap smile on my face when yet my heart is not restful about a misdemeanor; a misrepresentation of Him. Let me have courage to speak with you. I pray you have courage to speak with me.
4). Not that I can change anyone, but that His influence through me can prompt the process of change to begin in you and I.
5). It is not the fear of causing someone discomfort, but the courage to initiate a varying opinion so that both your eyes and mine can open to the possibilities awaiting us in the classroom of character development.
6). Maturity calls for a proper channelling and direction of emotions, a chiseling of unwanted attitudes and a hammering of rough edges, not always to smoothen them, but more often to create a new pattern.
7). So let it be that in my interaction with you, you will be better for having met me, and I will be better for having met you.
8). Of what benefit is it that I would gloss over your mistakes in the name of maintaining friendship, or that you would silence my misdemeanor in fear of offending me?
9). Of what value is it that you’d be afraid to correct me in the name of maintaining our acquaintance? Please help me gain maturity by speaking the truth in love to me. Do not wait for a better day. The day is now.
10). Oh that you’d speak the truth in love, that I would speak with grace, and the mingling of these two- let us be both better for it.
Finally, incorporate laughter and prayer into your daily schedule, and you’ll find very little reason to fret. Let us do this together, and our harbor will be a huge ground upon which many love to dock, because we will no longer be “talk-sick,” but be filled with the breath of life from heaven, imbuing an abundance of encouragement to the hearts of all we meet.
Let us bury the gaping “I.”
Let us lay pride in the dust.
Let humility arise.
Let us learn from our mistakes.
Let us set our hearts free from strongholds that bind to sin.
Let us soar on His wings of joy!
Remember, the eyes may physically see, but the “I” is often blind.
More Laughter and More Prayer….for you, for me.
Psalm 139: 23 Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts:
24 And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.”
IF YOU MUST..…
“If you must coil,
Let it be in beauty and not self pity.
If you must clasp,
Create tentacles of sympathy and not envy.
If you must clap,
Produce delightful songs, not dirges.
If you must grasp,
Hold with arms of gentleness, not recklessness.
If you must retreat,
Go and count your blessings, not defeats.
If you must close,
Bang the door against evil, and welcome truth.
If you must rest,
Gain rejuvenation, not procrastination.”